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Kurukuru eye ticket to Thailand

Three days before their departure to Fiji, where the competition will be held, the 3-time Oceania champions are going through their final training sessions. Spending already a week in camp player bonding is stronger than ever for the close-knit team dominated by players who have played together since they were 12 years old.
Kurukuru coach, Dickson Kadau, says that his boys have worked very hard to reach this level in their preparations and the determination to do their best is unparalleled in his experience.
“My players have given their best in training and I am confident that their hard work will bring them the results that they want,” Kadau. “Hard work is the main ingredient in our preparations and all the players have displayed their desire to win with their performance on the court during training. The least I can say is that I am proud of them.”
Inspirational captain, Elliot Ragomo, has put aside all his personal ambitions for 2011 and has focussed all his efforts into making sure Solomon Islands qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup. His studies have been put on hold and he also turned down an opportunity to play futsal in Australia earlier this year to concentrate on training for the OFC championship.
“My dream is for Kurukuru to be in the next world cup,” Ragomo says. “We were there in 2008 but we owe it to ourselves to go out and rewrite our story in the world cup.”
Pretty much the same squad that won the 2010 championship the Kurukuru line up has the skills and the depth to overcome any team in the competition but complacency has been something that the team has not come across. Starting their gruelling training program just a month after winning the title last year, Kurukuru know that nothing will come easy to them and they want to make sure everything they can control is the way they want it to be.
Kurukuru has its eyes on the prize and the whole team has been made to work extra hard by assistant coach and fitness trainer, Jerry Sam, who believes that superior fitness reduces the burden on his players during game time.
“I believe that fitness is paramount in a competition like this. Superior fitness means that my players can focus on playing the game rather than on surviving it. I must commend the players for meeting the fitness challenge we have set for them head on and making it look easy in the process as well,” Sam says.
An important boost came for the team last week when one of the top players in the squad, Jack Wetney, returned from Amicale to join up with them. Wetney’s inclusion in the team has been a major issue for the Kurukuru management who worked closely with Amicale to ensure that the forward returned in time to train with the team before they departed for Fiji.
Tough journey for sure
Solomon Islands journey in the OFC futsal championship will not be an easy one against the likes of Tahiti and New Caledonia whom they share group B with. Both teams have made huge strides against Kurukuru in recent matches reflected by the slimming score lines managed by the champions against them.
Team manager, Mapuru Tausinga, says that the players are not taking anything lightly because they know what is at stake.
“These players know that they are champions but they also know that they are the team to beat this year. Nobody is being complacent and the sacrifices the players have made says that they are being objective in their preparations. It is important for the team and for us to win,” Tausinga says.
Kurukuru first won the OFC title in 2008 and successfully defended it in 2009 and then again in 2010. They share the record with Bilikiki, the national beach soccer team, for the most wins in a regional competition for any Solomon Islands national team.

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